Quadco Rehabilitation Center (QRC) is using a tool to track the outcomes of the people it serves to make sure its transformation plan is effective.
Speaking to members of its Non-Profit Board yesterday (Apr. 26), Executive Director Bruce Abell said that the transformation plan for the center is built around each individual’s person-centered plan with a focus on community employment and community integration.
He said they track the results of the plan with their outcome measurement system.
He said QRC uses the outcome measurement system to track, measure and focus on several required areas, such as community employment.
Abell said their system shows that in the last two years, QRC has developed 30 community-based jobs for the people they serve. He said he felt that was a good number of people based on the number of people who chose QRC to provide them with community employment services.
He also pointed out that QRC is not the sole provider of those services. There are two other providers of community employment services in the area that people can choose to use.
He told the board members it was important that the outcome measure system provides QRC with the necessary information to make sure they are progressing as they should.
In order to ensure that, he said he refers to information on the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities website, such as Ohio’s Transition Plan developed by their Strategic Planning Leadership Group.
In the report, they list a goal of having 50% of people with developmental disabilities employed by the year 2024. He said the hours they work would range from 1 to 40 hours a week seeking an average of 20 hours per week. Then, individuals would choose activities for the remainder of the day with as much community involvement as possible.
He noted that community integration is another important part of the transformation plan. He said community integration at QRC is built primarily around Community Clubs. He said they talk to the individuals and find out what they are interested in, and plan events to do those things.
For instance, he said they are in the process of adding volunteer work at humane societies. Many of the people like to walk and pet the dogs, while also interacting with the people that work at the shelters.
Abell said that there have been questions about whether individuals should be required to do things in the community and should places like QRC have a set number of hours that people have to go and do community integration. He said a recent response from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says that is not required. Instead, everything should be built around the individual’s plan and what they are interested in.
He said the provider’s responsibility is to support the individual’s interests through the planning effort, making sure they are getting the kind of supports and services they want.
Rachel Lange, manager of QRC’s Northwest Employment Services, said QRC is helping people reach their community employment goals.
They are presently serving 35 people with fifteen people looking for jobs, sixteen are receiving follow-along services and another four are in job retention.
She was glad to report they have three people who have been placed in jobs as of last week.
She also mentioned that they have had five people recently do career-based assessments, where they try a job with a coach for two or three days. She said one person was hired as a result of those experiences.
Bill Priest, director of marketing, reported that the Community Clubs have been visiting We’re Rolling Pretzel Company at the Northtowne Mall in Defiance. They learn about the business and watch the employees make the pretzels, and then get to sample some of the tasty products.
He also mentioned the QRC Garden Club has begun their planting and have plans to take what they grow to local farmers markets this year.
Priest said that a group of people from QRC got to see the jobs that people do on area farms thanks to an Eagle Scout project by an Edgerton Boy Scout.
He said Dakota Freeman, a member of Boy Scout Troop 1222 of Bryan, set up a tour of the Donald Herman dairy farm and the Garold Keppeler, hog farm for some of the members of QRC’s Community Club.
On April 8 the group traveled to the farms, where Mr. Herman told the group members how they milk their 300 dairy cows everyday and care for the 300 calves they have there. Mr. Keppeler showed them one of the four barns where they raise pigs. They also grow crops on their 400-acre farm and have a farmers market with produce for area residents.
Freeman welcomed the group at both farms, and gave them covers for their shoes and hand sanitizers. He also built some small ramps so that the people who use wheelchairs could access the farm buildings during the tour.
Mr. Priest commended Freeman for all the work he did to put the tour together and said the people on the tour really enjoyed their visit.
Mr. Abell announced to the board members that Priest will be retiring from QRC in the near future.
Priest told the board members that he loves working with all of the people at QRC and is responding to a new call in his life. He said he has worked at QRC for almost 24 years and has a total of 30 years of public service credit.
He said he enjoyed serving for six years on the Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities and on the state board for the Ohio Association of Adult Services while he has been at QRC.
He said he has seen Quadco make a difference in many people’s lives, and what has meant the most has been to see people working out on jobs or getting an opportunity to do something better for their lives with the help of QRC.